Peggy Hogan (aka Hua Li)
Art Not Love is a record label founded by Montrealers Charlie Twitch and Peggy Hogan, names and faces you may know apart or together — they both performed in the recent Party Like It’s 1699 series of shows in the Satosphère, and have been play music as ¡FLIST! and Hua Li, respectively, for a few years now.
Their label reps their music projects as well as Saxsyndrum, DirtyOrgans and Rushing Silver.
Ahead of this weekend’s ANL (yes ANL) showcase at Brasserie Beaubien, I spoke to Twitch and Hogan about art, labour and love.
Lorraine Carpenter: How did Art Not Love start?
Charlie Twitch: Seven years ago I bought the domain and designed the logo because I always wanted my own label.
Peggy Hogan: Now your dreams are coming true!
LC: How did you discover the acts that are part of the label?
CT: No one was really discovered, we just really liked each other’s music. I’ve been friends with Shea (DirtyOrgans) for about a decade, he’s living in Toronto right now but we’ve always been close with our music and I’ve been really lucky to continue working with him. I met Nick from Saxsyndrum through CKUT and ever since, we’ve been finding ways to collaborate. Rushing Silver just makes really good music.
LC: Who works with you on this at the moment?
CT: It’s just me and Peggy but I’ve set the label up with the intention of the artists being involved as much as possible with their releases. I’m handling the majority of design and production work right now but we’re working on spreading everything out evenly. Peggy is focusing on artist development—
PH: I want to work with artists to help build their brands; I teach singing and piano and it seemed like a great way to apply my experience in music education.
CT: We also have a really devoted group of people helping us with videos right now.
LC: How do you find the time?
PH: Charlie just doesn’t sleep. I think I trick Charlie into thinking that I do a lot more work than I do. I’m actually leaving one of the schools I work at to have more time for the label. I love Art Not Love!
CT: I just consolidated all my creativity into this. It’s often more an energy issue though, I’m still learning how to take breaks.
LC: What’s your criteria for choosing acts to be part of this label?
CT: I’m really big on music and art as a complete package. I only want to work with people who are willing to really get upset about their work. Beyond that it can be anything. The label doesn’t have any specific genre or aesthetic and the people we’re working with right now are here because they operate under the same ideology.
PH: For sure. I think for both Charlie and me, we are both really inspired by musicians that think about their music as art. I mean, when I first met Charlie, I thought the coolest thing about him was all the angles he was able to look at his music from – he would talk to me about the cinematic elements of his music, or tie in poetry or paintings into how he was thinking about his stuff, and, on a completely selfish level, I loved that because I have always wanted to be this kind of musician that has this like, 360 degree scope on where my music stands in relation to all the other contemporary art happening now. I think we very naturally both gravitate to acts that are excited about thinking about music in this way.
LC: Is your goal to make this grow into a bigger indie label, or is this meant to be a stepping stone to give good bands some visibility in their early years?
PH: It’s all of those things, right?
CT: It really depends on who it’s for — I like the adaptability we have right now. I wish I could say I’m trying to take over the world but I’m realizing I’m more into working on new and interesting projects all the time, and I’m happy to see where committing to that is going to take us. ■
The ANL Showase with Art Not Love acts Hua Li, ¡FLIST!, Saxsyndrum and DirtyOrgans is happening at Brasserie Beaubien (73 Beaubien E.) on Saturday, Dec. 6, 9:30 p.m.